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Mayor Bowser and Howard University Representatives Break Ground on D.C.'s First ‘Inclusive Innovation' Hub



Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser was joined by representatives from Howard University and Luma Lab to break ground on the District’s first Inclusive Innovation Incubator. The new space will support entrepreneurs and businesses from underrepresented communities that provide products and services that benefit underserved communities.

Today’s groundbreaking comes ahead of a trip by Mayor Bowser and District officials traveling to South by Southwest to meet with national tech leaders to promote economic opportunities in the District.

“Today, we take another big step towards building a tech ecosystem in the District that will make us a national leader in the fields of technology and inclusive innovation,” said Mayor Bowser. “This new incubator will support our growing technology and innovation sectors and ensure we address the needs of startups and entrepreneurs in the District. I look forward to working with Howard University and Luma Lab to foster innovation and equity in all 8 Wards.”

Last month, Howard University and Mayor Bowser selected Luma Lab to operate the new DC-based incubator on Howard’s campus, which is expected to open in Fall 2016. Luma Lab will manage the new startup incubator space and manage the Hub’s programming. The District’s partnership with Howard University will focus on leveraging University resources for venture capital firms to support medium to late-stage technology and innovation startups.

“Howard University continues to be the catalyst for diverse and innovative thought-leaders and an opportunity for the underserved and underrepresented,” said Dr. Wayne A. I. Frederick, President of Howard University. "The Howard University Innovation Tech Hub provides tech entrepreneurs and startups access to affordable workspace, training, and other resources to help bring smart ideas to the marketplace.”

In addition to offering technology and entrepreneurship training, the hub will offer affordable co-working space, networking events, mentorship, and strategic connections to Silicon Valley, investors, and partners. The hub will also provide tiered services and programs to its member companies, Howard students, staff, and faculty, as well as the broader community.

The District contributed nearly $1 million in grant funds to construct over 8,000 square feet of cutting edge workspace within Howard’s Wonder Plaza retail center in the 2300 block of Georgia Avenue. Howard University provided retail space at 50% of market value, institutional support and resources to ensure the lab is successful.